What’s Taking Flight in 2017 —
¡Feliz año nuevo!
At the moment I am writing this in a hotel lobby listening in as the hotel receptionist asks a little girl how to say goodbye in the girls’ language (Chinese). Right before that the receptionist was speaking her native language with another guest, you got it …Spanish. Now I am in Chinatown, but earlier today I was in Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood and reminded again of the uniqueness of the place I live where on a 20 minute hike I often overhear conversations in five languages!
While driving to the park a public radio show reported on how the German community is addressing the immediate need of the Syrian immigrants to learn German quickly.
Such radio stories are not rare. I’ve noticed throughout 2016 weekly language topics featured on public radio broadcasts from business to cooking, arts/culture to politics, and of course education. (We will be posting those links in future blogs in the coming months but here is one recent example – listen.)
The global community we have here in LA is inspiring in many ways. With joy and dedication I strive to have our program easily available and affordable because I feel it is needed and appreciated.
Many parents share their personal stories with me about language and culture and why giving their child Spanish lessons directly links them to their own heritage.
They report to me a feeling of love and pride for their own culture that is reignited when their child learns Spanish.
Other parents are clearly in step with the latest research on brain development and seek a new path of education for their child, one that prepares them for deeper and easier language learning as they grow.
Families also seek support for their own efforts to teach their children Spanish in the home.
While language learning is a prescribed, tailored and a life long process, the driving force behind success with language learning is consistency and so Kallpachay strives to make the learning fun and meaningful for kids so they will stay with it.
It is a lofty task to match lessons to students’ levels plus challenge them to advance while making sure to optimize the ‘coolness’ factor that comes from learning alongside their peers.
The joy I ‘put in’ is refreshed when I visit the classes and see the children bubbling with excitement when they remember the words in Spanish as they are playing the games and helping each other, and being creative, singing songs and working their brains. I’m filled with excitement too because it feels like these children are in the flow of something bigger than themselves, they can’t fully appreciate now but surely will in the future.
Could it be that we are part of a groundswell of what can easily become the norm for as diverse a city as LA to return to its bilingual roots.
So for our part in 2017 you can look forward to more access to classes and camps locally, more quality teachers, extra office staff on hand to help with new requests and follow up, streamlined registrations, free demo days, parent talks with PTA’s, support of new immersion schools, and more exciting themes to engage your kids.
I hope this year will spark curiosity in your own life to seek out both what challenges and delights you!
Do consider though the importance of taking the time to share your personal story with others who may be timid to start on this path or who are seeking out other voices like their own to give them the confidence and conviction to choose this path for their child. The richness of what you have inherited is passed on to your children by the choices you make daily.
You have an open invitation to share with our community through our blog your own personal second language experience in any format you choose…. poetry, prose, scene, dialogue, or funny vignettes. In the telling you may discover a new insight to your own history!
I have many challenges ahead but I am fully aware that my entrepreneurial spirit is a catalyst for engaging superbly talented and hard working teachers who share our mission and I want to thank them all for their valued work and commitment to excellence!
A key contributor to our team is our esteemed curriculum designer who brings us all together in her love of the Spanish language. She is catapulting Kallpachay to new heights with her dedication and talent.
While I have many timely tasks before me in preparing to launch our summer camp season I am glad I gave myself this time to greet 2017 with a personal message.
What defines Kallpachay as a Spanish language educational company is a passion for using best practices in language education to serve the children in our programs and to raise the bar of what second language education can achieve.